Greater Sydney lockdown extended as call for JobKeeper grows louder

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has called for the reintroduction of JobKeeper.

The lockdown in Greater Sydney has been extended another four weeks with case numbers remaining stubbornly high.

While some concessions have been made with construction given the greenlight to restart, the impact on the economy is set to be severe.

Unsurprisingly, spending on dining and entertainment in Sydney has halved since before the lockdown, according to ANZ’s figures, one of many sectors that have seen a slump.

Spending across the metropolitan area in the week to July 24 was at its lowest since the pandemic began last year, prompting a rising chorus calling for the return of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program.

Industry groups, unions, NSW Labor and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have called for a return of the financial lifeline. But Premier Gladys Berejiklian has remained silent on the issue, with the Federal Government resolute that JobKeeper will not be resurrected.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the Federal Government’s weekly disaster payments of up to $600 are a more suitable form of assistance.

Perrottet argues that more than 200,000 people in NSW have been impacted by the lockdown but do not qualify for the disaster payments.

“The NSW government continues to talk about making sure that we have the right settings in place to support individuals and also businesses and those conversations are ongoing,” Berejiklian said.

“I will just leave it at that.”